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Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Month: March 2016

Jackson and Jefferson County Edibles

Edible Antics is currently posting virtual culinary tour entries from Wisconsin counties in alphabetical order. Scroll down for some of the Wisconsin counties we visited in previous weeks or these prior counties visited are available in the archived links on the right side of your screen. We are finding special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think visitors might enjoy in each county we visit.  Some background information on each county is followed with specific links to our Wisconsinmade artisan partners and to our Edible Antics recommendations for each county.  The archives cover these counties:

The Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Ideas Network recently had a segment discussing items that are made in Wisconsin.  I was the guest and discussed with Joy and her listeners many of the high quality products produced in Wisconsin and featured on  We even had a chance to discuss this blog, Edible Antics.  You can listen to the program at the Joy Cardin Show archives.

We continue our Wisconsin County Edible Antics online culinary tour this week in Jackson County and Jefferson County Wisconsin.  Both counties have much to offer the visitor for their comfort and enjoyment.

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Iowa and Iron County Edibles

We are continuing our Wisconsin County culinary tour in Iowa County and Iron County Wisconsin.  At opposite ends of the state these two counties are about a five hour drive apart.  Northwoods wilderness and lakes are reviewed alongside rolling rich agricultural lands.

Iowa County


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Iowa County by David Benbennick

Iowa County is 762 square miles and has a population of 23,700 with the County seat in Dodgeville.   Other cities and villages include:

  • Mineral Point
  • Avoca
  • Barneveld
  • Cobb
  • Highland
  • Hollandale
  • Linden
  • Rewey
  • Ridgeway

The current agriculturally based farming economy supports many of the jobs here.  The earlier history is preserved in Mineral Point.  The Wisconsin State Historical Society has preserved the Cornish mining history in the Pendarvis historical site.  This part of the state was a major commercial center before Wisconsin became a state.  The mining of lead and zinc were large industries in the early 1800’s.  Cornish pasties were popular lunch meals for the miners.  A folded pastry around a beefy stew center provided mid-day nourishment.  The county is home to three Wisconsin State Parks; Blue Mounds, Governor Dodge and Tower Hill State Park.  Tower Hill contains an 1831 “shot tower” off the edge of a cliff where molten lead was dropped from the top of the tower and it formed a round globular shape on the way down and fell in a vat of cold water at the bottom.  These lead balls were then used as shot for early rifles.  The Military Ridge State Trail also traverses the county. The west end of the trail is at Governor Dodge State Park.

Wisconsinmade Artisan partners in Iowa County include:

  • Little Creek Press is the Mineral Point publisher of a number of books for children and adults.
  • Walnut Hollow in Dodgeville has developed InGrained Art as a new line of wall décor using a revolutionary new process that allows wood surfaces to be enhanced with

    Wisconsin Capitol Lake View photo on wood

    high-resolution imagery. This process allows all of the natural grain and texture of the wood to show through while maintaining the quality, detail and resolution of the original image.

  • Wagging Tail Bakery  features a Sampler Gift Bag that is an assortment of homemade dog snacks

In addition to our Wisconsinmade artisan partners Edible Antics Iowa County recommendations include:

  • Taliesin was the home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He first designed the home for himself in 1911. From that time until his death in 1959, Wright continuously changed the home and the surrounding landscape, which included buildings that he had designed for his family.  At the time of Frank Lloyd Wright’s death, “Taliesin” referred to the home, the surrounding 600-acre estate, and 4 other Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures.
  • Hook’s Cheese Company in Mineral Point has won numerous awards for their Parmesan cheese (try it with a nice Merlot), Cheddar cheese (with a glass of Syrah), Colby cheese (with a Malbec) and their Blue cheese (with a glass of Cabernet)
  • Uplands Cheese Company is the maker of award winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve. It is the most-awarded cheese in American history, having won Best of Show in the American Cheese Society’s annual competition three times (2001, 2005 and 2010), and having also won the US Cheese Championships in 2003. It is the only cheese to have won Best of Show three times, and the only cheese to have ever won both of the major, national cheese competitions.
  • Botham Vineyards is an original Wisconsin winery and one of only a handful with estate vineyards producing authentic Wisconsin wine.
  • Lake Louie Brewing in Arena provides quality beers including Tommy’s Porter, one of my favorites.
  • The Quality Bakery in Dodgeville provides sweets for all.
  • Brewery Creek brewpub in Mineral Point for good beers and historic lodging.
  • The Mineral Point Opera House began in 1915 as a vaudeville house. Over the years, it has been used as a movie theater and a venue for a variety of live performances.  After extensive recent restoration, it is open again.
  • Mineral Point Gallery night happens four times a year; the first for 2016 is April 2. Local galleries open for tours and visitors can see the artists at work.

Iron County


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Iron County by David Benbennick

Iron County population is 5,900 people living on 757 square miles.  It is the third least populated county in Wisconsin.  The County seat is Hurley with other cities and villages of:

  • Montreal
  • Mercer
  • Manitowish

The northern border of the county includes some Lake Superior shoreline and the state border with the upper peninsula of Michigan.  The Gogebic Range of mountains is in the northern portion of the county and the Turtle Flambeau Flowage covers most of the southern portion of the county.  Here is another map of Iron County showing the extensive undeveloped land.

iron county details

Iron County Wisconsin

Edible Antics Iron County recommendations include:

  • In Mercer Claire d Loon weighs 2,000 pounds, stands 16 feet tall, and lends credibility to the town’s claim to be the “Loon Capital.”
  • The Plummer Mine Headframe is part of an iron mine that opened in 1904, the Plummer Mine shaft angles downward from the headframe following a vein of ore into the earth to a depth of 2,367 feet. The Plummer Mine closed in 1924 and is the last such headframe standing in Wisconsin. From an engine house, cables ran up over the wheels at the top of the headframe and were attached to elevator cars, lowering miners and equipment underground and pulling ore cars back to the surface.

Edible Antics continues our tour next week in Jackson County and Jefferson County where we are looking for people, places or edibles that are all Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Green and Green Lake County edibles

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Is it an Irish miracle we are in Green County and Green Lake County on St Pat’s Day?

This week we continue our Wisconsin County culinary tour in Green County and Green Lake County.  Both of these Wisconsin counties have major tourism activities to complement their economic base.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Green County by David Benbennick

Green County

Green County hosts 36,800 people on 584 square miles.  The county seat is Monroe and other cities and villages include:

  • Broadhead
  • New Glarus
  • Monticello
  • Albany
  • Browntown

Green County is a heavily agricultural based community that is the largest cheese producing county in Wisconsin.  It has a strong Swiss and German heritage that offers visitors a chance to experience some of these old-world traditions.  Local festivals often feature yodeling, dancing, Alpen horns, flag throwing and Swiss and German dress.  The Green County Master Cheese-GruyereCheesemakers are well represented at the World championship Cheese contest in Madison, Wisconsin March 7-9th.  Champions from over 2,000 entries in 102 classes of cheese, butter and yogurt were selected with one of them crowned the Grand Champion best cheese in the world..  And that Grand Champion Cheese is…..the Roth Grand Cru Surchoix from Emmi Roth – Monroe, Wisconsin.  A Green County cheese won the Championship. artisan partners in Green County include

  • Decatur Dairy known for their award winning Havarti, Brick and Muenster.  Just received third place in Class 37 Brick, Muenster for Steve Stettler’s Brick Cheese and first place in Class 59 Open Class: Smoked and Semi soft cheese for their Smoked Mediterranean Herb Havarti.  Try their Brick cheese with a glass of Merlot.
  • New Glarus Bakery featuring fine Swiss Pastries, breads and Holiday Stollen.
  • Emmi Roth Cheese Company known for their Swiss, Parmesan, and Buttermilk Blue cheese in addition to winning
    The contestants

    World Cheese Contest entires

    the Grand Champion award at the World Cheese Championships also second place in Class 52 Smear Ripened Hard Cheese for their Roth Private Reserve; third place in Class 57 Open Class Pepper Flavored Cheese, Medium Heat for their Roth 3 Chile Pepper Gouda. Try their Gouda with a glass of Champagne.

  • Minhas Brewery and Distillery makers of fine beers and spirits and MInhas soda
  • Benesh Photography presents award winning images from outdoor Wisconsin
  • Winks Whoopie Pies These soft cake-like sandwiches with a creamy buttercream filling became an instant hit.

In addition to our Wisconsinmade artisan partners Edible Antics Green County recommendations include:

Cheese Companies

  • Chalet Cheese the last US maker of Limburger cheese
  • Edelweiss Cheese makers of fine Swiss and Muenster cheeses.  Swiss cheese pairs well a chilled Riesling.
  • Klondike Cheese makers of fine Brick cheese and Odyssey Greek Yogurt and Feta
  • Maple Leaf Cheese makes award winning cheddar.  Cheddar pairs well with Pinot Gri.
  • Depplers cheese known for their Baby Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese pairs well with Riesling.

Meat markets

Restaurants and Supper Clubs

  • Baumgartner’s Cheese Shop and Tavern on the Square in downtown Monroe is the oldest cheese shop in Wisconsin and features local beers and cheeses. Try their liver sausage and Limburger cheese sandwich with a slice of raw onion on Rye.
  • Turner Hall in Monroe is steeped in the Swiss traditions and history of south-central Wisconsin, the Turner Hall of Monroe is a non-profit 501(c) (3) center of Swiss heritage and community activities. Established in 1868, it is believed to be the only
    turner hall monroe

    Turner Hall

    Turner Hall of Swiss origin left in the United States, and is likewise one of the oldest, continuously-running Swiss entities in this country. The building, a Swiss Emmenthal-style chalet designed by German architect Max Hanisch, is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places and is handicapped-accessible.  An authentic Old World Ratskeller Restaurant, an elegant Grand Hall with the area’s largest wooden floor, and a “retro” 8-lane Family Bowling facility are all part of the Turner Hall of Monroe

  • Franklin Grove near Albany is opening for the season March 23 for Wed thru Sunday meals.  According to one reviewer: “Not a huge menu but an interesting one. Food has always been excellent. Loved the afternoon tea. We enjoy the ambience – you eat in the midst of an antique store. Good place to find an unusual gift.”
  • New Glarus Hotel serves patrons Swiss specialties like Geschnetzeltes, Cheese Fondue à la Neuchatel, Beef Fondue Bourguignonne, Rösti, and more!

Specialty shops and interesting stops

  • Chocolate Temptation is a chocolate shop with ice cream and coffee for you on the square in Monroe.
  • Esther’s European Imports Swiss shop in New Glarus has fondue and Raclette supplies, regional cookbooks, traditional Swiss folk wear, Swiss cow bells and more.  A little bit of Switzerland right here in Wisconsin.
  • Brenda’s Blumenladen is an amazing boutique with a great selection of home décor, giftware, flowers and fashion accessories, as well as a greenhouse and complete garden center.
  • New Glarus Brewing is a quaint little brewery nestled on the outskirts of New Glarus, Wisconsin. The brewery is run by an enthusiastic couple, Daniel & Deb Carey, who have successfully combined business management and brewing professionalism. Their philosophy is based on individuality, cooperation and the employment of 100% natural ingredients to produce world-class, handcrafted beers for their friends in Wisconsin.  Their beers are available “Only in Wisconsin”

Interesting Tourism attractions in Green County

  • The Swiss Historical Village & Museum presents the unique story of the founding of New Glarus in 1845 and traces the Swiss colony’s growth into a dairy farming community that continues to keep alive its ethnic heritage.
  • Green County Courthouse was built in 1891; it is the county’s second permanent courthouse. Architect G. Stanley Marshfield designed the Richardsonian Romanesque building. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
  • Catalog and online company Duluth Trading is headquartered in Belleville Wisconsin and has an outlet store for customers to search for bargains.
  • Catalog and online company Swiss Colony is headquartered in Monroe Wisconsin and has an outlet store for items from their eleven catalog divisions
  • The Sugar River State Trail follows an abandoned railroad line in south central Wisconsin for 24 miles from New Glarus to Brodhead.  The Sugar River State Trail  has fourteen trestle bridges cross over the Sugar River and its tributaries, while the trail passes by farmlands, woods, rolling hills, scenic meadows, remnant prairies and glacial topography. North of Brodhead, the trail goes over a replica covered bridge. The trail has also been designated as a National Recreational Trail.  The Sugar River Trail headquarters is in the restored 1887 railroad depot in New Glarus. The building is on the National Registry of Historic Places and houses displays of local culture and railroad history.
  • National Historic Cheesemaking Center in Monroe.  Discover the leadership and innovation that Monroe area cheesemakers have provided throughout the years, molding Wisconsin into the country’s premier quality cheese producer.

Map of Wisconsin highlighting Green Lake County by David Benbennick

Green Lake County

The City of Green Lake is the county seat of this county that is home to 19,100 people and covers a relatively small 354 square miles.  Other cities include:

  • Princeton
  • Berlin
  • Markesan

Green Lake is the largest and deepest natural inland lake is Wisconsin.   Green Lake is known for its fishing and recreational tourist community during the summer months. Area activities include camping, biking, fishing, hiking, golfing, swimming, and boating. Green Lake is the home of the Green Lake Conference Center, which was founded by the American Baptist Churches USA in 1943. Also near the conference center is the Golf Courses of Lawsonia, built on the former estate of Victor F. Lawson, the owner and publisher of the Chicago Daily News.

The county includes the White River Marsh and the Grand River Marsh state wildlife areas.  In summer these areas host some of the rare migratory Whooping Cranes.  Crane Fest that celebrates these cranes is scheduled for September 10, 2016.

Edible Antics Green Lake County recommendations include:

  • Heidel House Resort and its Grey Rock restaurant
    Heidel House overview

    Heidel House

    on the shores of Green Lake hosts their Brewfest March 19th with appetizers, live entertainment and over 100 microbrews from Wisconsin.

  • Beckwith House in Berlin is a historic hotel built in 1863
  • Russel Moccasin Company in Berlin has dedicated itself to providing hunters and outdoors men and women with the finest handmade, custom fitted moccasin style boots and shoes available anywhere…at any price.
  • Ellison’s Grey Lion Inn bed and breakfast in Princeton provides comfortable lodging for visitors to the famous Princeton Flea Market, craniacs visiting the White River Marsh or casual vacationers in the area.
  • The September 9 -11 Whooping Crane Festival in Princeton
  • Franks Hometown meat in Berlin is a local butcher shop with a full variety of meats available to locals and visitors alike.
  • Lenz’s Green Lake Meadows Farm for grass fed beef
  • Honey Creek Farm for beef
  • The Village Bakery in Princeton
  • The Angel Inn in Green Lake is a beautifully restored turn-of- century Greek Revival Mansion on the western shores of Green Lake.

Both Green County and Green Lake County offer visitors numerous opportunities to experience some of the Wisconsin heritage and the delicious treats that are available in these communities.  We invite you to experience all these people, places and edibles Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Join us next week for culinary and tourism sights in Iowa and Iron counties.

Forest and Grant County Edibles

This week we extend our Wisconsin county culinary tour to Forest and Grant Counties.  They are on opposite sides of Wisconsin – far northeast and far southwest.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Forest County by David Benbennick

Forest County

This county is named after the dense forest that shares the territory. 9,300 people live on the 1,014 square miles with Crandon as the county seat.  Other towns include

  • Argonne
  • Laona
  • Moll Lake
  • Newald
  • Wabeno

Much of the northern portion of Wisconsin is part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest  and it includes most of Forest County.  The county also includes the home of the Forest County Potawatomi Indians, who are the Keeper of the Fire.  There are many lakes and wildlife areas in Forest County.

 Edible Antics Forest County recommendations include:

TRAILS Pow-wow Mole Lake in Crandon March 12 – March 13 features dancers, drummers with a feast provided both days plus Native American craft vendors.

The Lumberjack Steam Train Cowboy Reenactment in Laona July 16 steps back in time where you come take part in a Wild West train robbery the authentic Cowboy Reenactment and robbery of the Lumberjack Steam Train. You are invited to come and ride the train.  At other times the Lumberjack Steam Train takes you out to “Camp 5”, the site of an old logging camp. Later it became the site of the Lumber Company Farm. When you arrive, you find some of the old buildings which were a part of the Lumber Company Farm.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Grant County by David Benbennick

Grant County

This county in southwestern Wisconsin shares state boarders with both Illinois and Iowa.  The county seat is in Lancaster.  The county occupies 1,148 square miles and hosts 51,200 people.  Other cities in the county include:

  • Boscobel
  • Cuba City
  • Fennimore
  • Platteville

Villages include

  • Bagley
  • Bloomington
  • Blue River
  • Cassville
  • Dickeyville
  • Mount Hope
  • Patch Grove
  • Potosi
  • Tennyson
  • Woodman

Boscobel hosts the Boscobel Hotel  and Central House generally regarded as the home of the first Gideon Bible.

The lower portion of the Wisconsin River widens and joins the Mississippi River here.  Wyalusing State Park is high on a bluff overlooking the confluence of these two rivers.

Stonefield Village is a historic restoration of an early Wisconsin settlement near Cassville. artisan partners in Grant County include:

Martha’s Hot Mustard is a honey mustard producer in rural Grant County that has developed a fan base for her sweet-hot mustard nation-wide.  It’s great on crackers and cheese, ham, turkey, hot dogs, hamburgers – even popcorn! Everyone who tastes Martha’s Hot Mustard is sure to love it!

Edible Antics Grant County recommendations include:

In Potosi The Potosi Brewery and National Brewery Museum offers visitors a tour of a restored regional brewery, the National Brewery Museum, fine locally produced adult beverages, a beautifully restored back bar, a restaurant with good pub food, outdoor seating in the summer and welcoming Wisconsin hospitality year round.

Weber Meats in Cuba City offers a wide variety of meat products for their customers in south western Wisconsin and north western Illinois.

The Dickeyville Grotto on Holy Ghost Parish grounds are the works of Father Mathias Wernerus, pastor from 1918 – 1931. His handiwork, built from 1925 – 1930, is dedicated to the unity of two American ideals-love of God and love of country. It is a creation in stone, mortar, and bright colored objects collected from all over the world

Meister Cheese Company in Muscoda makes specialty cheeses in the old world fashion but with modern technology.

The Fenway House Hotel in Fennimore was built in 1918 and offers endless old world charm from the creek that runs thru the dining room to the original terrazzo floors.

The Cream Pitcher bed and breakfast in Blue River blends modern amenities with old-fashioned quality and comfort. The home is embellished with a large collection of antiques, including pitchers from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

Here is the Burst O’ Lemon Muffin recipe from The Cream Pitcher B&B as listed in the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbook:

Burst O’ Lemon Muffins (makes 1 dozen)

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup lemon yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut


  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  In a separate bowl beat together the yogurt, egg, butter, lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the coconut and fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and muffins test done.  Cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For the topping:  I a saucepan combine the lemon juice and sugar.  Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the toasted coconut.  Using a toothpick poke 6-8 holes in each muffin.  Spoon the lemon coconut mixture over the muffins.  Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

More culinary treats next week as we visit Green County and Green Lake County in search of people, places and things that are Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.




Florence and Fond du Lac County edibles

Our Wisconsin county culinary tour this week moves to Florence and Fond du Lac counties.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Florence County by David Benbennick

Florence County

Florence is in the northeast portion of Wisconsin.  With 4,400 people spread over 488 square miles it is one of the sparsest populated counties in Wisconsin.  The county seat is the city of Florence.  Located along the Wisconsin Michigan boarder this county is mostly forested wilderness with many rivers and lakes for recreational activities.

Edible Antics Florence County recommendations include:

Maxsells Supper Club is on the National Historic Register and features casual fine dining on Florence’s Fisher Lake.  It was originally an 1899 Prairie School home built by lumberman Mr. David Fulmer in 1904.

Wisconsin Wild Rivers is a new 100 mile loop that features 15 access points to enjoy the Pine and Popple Wild Rivers in Florence County, Wisconsin.   The public owned lands along these rivers are managed to show as little human intervention as possible


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Fond du Lac County by David Benbennick

Fond du Lac County

The city of Fond du Lac is the county seat of Fond du Lac County.  101,600 people live here and the county covers 722 square miles.  Fond du Lac is French for bottom of the lake, and the city is located on the southern shores of Lake Winnebago.  Other cities in the county include Ripon and a portion of Waupun. Villages include:

  • Brandon
  • Campbellsport
  • Eden
  • Fairwater
  • Mount Calvary
  • North Fond du Lac
  • Oakfield
  • Rosendale
  • St. Cloud

Part of the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest and the Eldorado State Wildlife area are both located in the county. artisan partners in Fond du Lac County include:

  • Firl Industries features high quality log carriers that provide a clean and easy way to carry wood for the fireplace or wood burner
  • Kreative Kraftwerks  specializes in handcrafted soy candles, soaps and lotions
  • Chrome Domz creates some of the most unique metal embossed wall art  including officially licensed University of Wisconsin Badger wall hangings

In addition to our artisan partners Edible Antics Fond du Lac county recommendations for you:

We hope you have time to enjoy these delightful Wisconsin treasures.  They all feature folks that focused to provide you experiences that are Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Join us next week for our culinary tour of Forest and Grant  counties.

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